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Overview for Helmut Dantine
Helmut Dantine

Helmut Dantine



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Also Known As: Helmut Guttmann Died: May 2, 1982
Born: October 7, 1918 Cause of Death: Heart attack
Birth Place: Vienna, AT Profession: Cast ... actor producer director distributor


Despite being forced to flee his native Austria after the Anschluss, Helmut Dantine forged a Hollywood career playing Germans during World War II. Released from the Rosserlaende concentration camp with the connivance of a sympathetic physician, 19 year-old Helmut Guttman -- as he was initially called -- lodged with a friend in Los Angeles and began acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He was signed soon after by Warner Bros. and took uncredited parts in classics like "To Be or Not to Be" and "Casablanca" before cameoing as the wounded Luftwaffe pilot in the British home front drama "Mrs Miniver." He proved more sadistic as the commandant executing villagers aiding the Norwegian resistance in "Edge of Darkness," but he also played a Maquis patriot escaping from Devil's Island with Humphrey Bogart in "Passage to Marseille" and an anti-Nazi underground leader evading the Gestapo in "Hotel Berlin." His career stuttered after the war and between prestige supporting roles like Prince Hugo in the Ethel Merman musical "Call Me Madam" and the caddish Dolokhov in King Vidor's adaptation of "War and Peace," he settled for TV slots and B leads like the Greek partisan defending Athens from the Axis in "Guerilla Girl" and the alien warning Patricia Neal of dire portents in "Stranger From Venus." Married to the daughter of former MGM boss Nicholas Schenck, Dantine tried his hand at directing with "Thundering Jets" and later executive produced "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" and "The Killer Elite" for Sam Peckinpah.

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